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FReeper Canteen ~ Hall of Heroes: Vernon Baker ~ July 26, 2010
Serving The Best Troops and Veterans In The World !! | StarCMC

Posted on 07/25/2010 5:00:19 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska

 

Our Troops Rock!  Thank you for all you do!
 
For the freedom you enjoyed yesterday... Thank the Veterans who served in The United States Armed Forces.
 
Looking forward to tomorrow's freedom? Support The United States Armed Forces Today!
 
 

~ Hall of Heroes ~

Vernon Baker

(Info found here.)

ArmyPatch small   NavySeal small   Air Force Seal   Marines Seal small   Coast Guard Seal small (better)

On Saturday, July 13th, another Medal of Honor recipient left us to guard the streets of heaven.  Thank you, sir, for your service to our country.

Vernon Joseph Baker (December 17, 1919 – July 13, 2010) was a United States Army officer who received the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in World War II. He was awarded the medal for his actions on April 5–6, 1945 near Viareggio, Italy, when he and his platoon killed 26 enemy soldiers and destroyed six machine gun nests, two observer posts and four dugouts. He was the only living black World War II veteran of the seven belatedly awarded the medal of honor when it was bestowed upon him by President William Jefferson Clinton in 1997.

Early life

Baker was born on December 17, 1919, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the youngest of three children. After his parents died in a car accident when he was four, he and his two sisters were raised by their grandparents. His grandfather Joseph S. Baker, a railroad worker in Cheyenne, taught him to hunt in order to feed the family and became "the most influential figure in Vernon's life." His relationship with his grandmother was much more strained, and he spent a few years at the Boys Town orphanage in Nebraska to be away from her.

Baker graduated from high school in his grandfather's hometown of Clarinda, Iowa. He then worked as a railroad porter, a job he despised, until his grandfather's death from cancer in 1939. A series of menial jobs followed until his enlistment in the U.S. Army in mid-1941. At his first attempt to enlist, in April 1941, he was turned away, the recruiter stating "We don't have any quotas for you people." He tried again weeks later with a different recruiter and was accepted; he requested to become a quartermaster but was instead assigned to the infantry.

 

Military service

Baker entered the Army on June 26, 1941, six months prior to the U.S. entry into World War II. He went through training at Camp Wolters, Texas, and after completing Officer Candidate School was commissioned as a second lieutenant on January 11, 1943.

In June 1944, Baker was sent to Italy with the all-black 92nd Infantry Division. He was wounded in the arm in October of that year, hospitalized near Pisa, and in December rejoined his unit in reserve along the Gothic Line. In early spring, 1945, his unit was pulled from the reserves and placed in active combat. On the morning of April 5, he participated in an attack on the German stronghold of Castle Aghinolfi. During the assault, Baker led his heavy weapons platoon through German defenses to within sight of the castle, personally destroying three machine gun nests, two observation posts, two bunkers, and a network of German telephone lines along the way. It was for these actions that he was later awarded the Medal of Honor.

After the end of the war, Baker remained in Europe with the Allied occupation forces until 1947. He later joined the Army Airborne forces and left the military in 1968 as a first lieutenant.

In 1993, a study commissioned by the U.S. Army described systematic racial discrimination in the criteria for awarding medals during World War II. At the time, no Medals of Honor had been awarded to black soldiers who served in World War II. After an exhaustive review of files, the study recommended that several black Distinguished Service Cross recipients have their awards upgraded to the Medal of Honor. On January 13, 1997, President Bill Clinton awarded the medal to seven African American World War II veterans; Baker was the only recipient still living at the time.

Baker's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

For extraordinary heroism in action on 5 and 6 April 1945, near Viareggio, Italy. Then Second Lieutenant Baker demonstrated outstanding courage and leadership in destroying enemy installations, personnel and equipment during his company's attack against a strongly entrenched enemy in mountainous terrain. When his company was stopped by the concentration of fire from several machine gun emplacements, he crawled to one position and destroyed it, killing three Germans. Continuing forward, he attacked an enemy observation post and killed two occupants. With the aid of one of his men, Lieutenant Baker attacked two more machine gun nests, killing or wounding the four enemy soldiers occupying these positions. He then covered the evacuation of the wounded personnel of his company by occupying an exposed position and drawing the enemy's fire. On the following night Lieutenant Baker voluntarily led a battalion advance through enemy mine fields and heavy fire toward the division objective. Second Lieutenant Baker's fighting spirit and daring leadership were an inspiration to his men and exemplify the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.

 

Please remember the Canteen is here to honor, support and entertain our troops and their families.  This is a politics-free zone!  Thanks for helping us in our mission! 



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Free Republic
KEYWORDS: canteen; military; troopsupport
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To: ConorMacNessa

I’ve got 2 kids, Conor, daughter is 20, she’s lives with girlfriends and a 14 year old son, he keeps me young!


81 posted on 07/25/2010 6:26:19 PM PDT by PROCON (Independence Day + 21, Let's see how long it lasts!)
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To: ConorMacNessa

I review these posts every time I see them, but it is heartbreaking to see the pictures of these young guys, who are really the best our country (and allies) have to offer.

You perform a great service by honoring them.

regards,


82 posted on 07/25/2010 6:27:02 PM PDT by Thunder 6
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To: PROCON
Hard to keep up with those 14 year olds, isn't it?

Lamh Foistenach Abu!
83 posted on 07/25/2010 6:27:18 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines, RVN '69 - St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!)
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To: ConorMacNessa
Good evening, Mac...*HUGS*...hope work is going well.

For when you get home.

84 posted on 07/25/2010 6:29:20 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska (~ RIP Brian...heaven's gain...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)
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To: ConorMacNessa
Hard to keep up with those 14 year olds, isn't it?

I can still out-wrestle him, but I don't know for how long!..LOL.

85 posted on 07/25/2010 6:29:33 PM PDT by PROCON (Independence Day + 21, Let's see how long it lasts!)
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To: Thunder 6
They deserve to be remembered, honored and revered. By dint of their service and sacrifice, and that of all who preceded them, we continue to live in Freedom. I feel obliged to observe their passing and hope that my small efforts will serve to accord them appropriate honor and remembrance.

Lamh Foistenach Abu!
86 posted on 07/25/2010 6:35:34 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines, RVN '69 - St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!)
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To: PROCON; ConorMacNessa
Just remind them...no matter how big they get, they'll never be big enough (but I'm sure they already know that! Right? :)).
87 posted on 07/25/2010 6:35:47 PM PDT by oldteen
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To: Kathy in Alaska
Thanks, Kathy - I am home - knocked off early this evening!

Lamh Foistenach Abu!
88 posted on 07/25/2010 6:37:41 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines, RVN '69 - St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!)
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To: Kathy in Alaska

Freep mail me to be on or off the Daily Bread ping list

Learning From Erin
July 26, 2010

Erin’s life was so different from that of most 8-year-olds. While other kids were running and playing and eating ice cream, Erin was lying in a bed being fed through a tube—able to see only the brightest lights and hear only the loudest sounds. Her life consisted of needles and nurses and hospital visits as she battled ongoing illnesses and profound disabilities.

Surrounded by a remarkable family who cared for her with compassion and filled her life with love, Erin died before reaching her ninth birthday.

What can be learned from a precious child like Erin—one who never spoke a word or colored a picture or sang a song? A friend of Erin’s family put it best: “We are all better for having had Erin in our lives. She taught us compassion, unconditional love, and appreciation for the little things.”

Children such as Erin also remind us that this world is not reserved for the perfect, the wealthy, or the athletic. Each person, no matter their physical, mental, or emotional condition, is created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27) and is of equal value and significance. Our Lord has compassion for the weak, the broken, and all He has made (Ps. 145:8-9), and we should mirror that concern (Eph. 5:1-2). Is there an “Erin” in your life you can learn from?

People in whom the world sees no value,
But only as burdens to bear,
Teach us great lessons of God’s sovereign power—
He loves them as treasures so rare. —Carbaugh

Never underestimate the value of one soul.

Read: 1 Cor. 12:21-25

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion. —Psalm 145:8
Bible in a year:
Psalms 40–42 & Acts 27:1-26


89 posted on 07/25/2010 6:38:18 PM PDT by The Mayor (Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty!)
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To: ConorMacNessa


Honoring all our Fallen

90 posted on 07/25/2010 6:38:54 PM PDT by BIGLOOK (Keelhaul Congress!)
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To: Kathy in Alaska; laurenmarlowe; BIGLOOK; alfa6; EsmeraldaA; SandRat; mylife; TMSuchman; PROCON; ...


Welcome To All Who Enter This Canteen, To Our Serving Military, To Our Veterans, To All Military Families, To Our FRiends and To Our Allies!





Missing Man Setting

Never Forget Those Who Sacrificed All That We Could Live In Freedom!!





91 posted on 07/25/2010 6:39:38 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines, RVN '69 - St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!)
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To: LUV W

Good to hear you enjoyed it. Keep in touch with them as much as possible cuz it really isn’t fun when you become the oldest generation in the family :(


92 posted on 07/25/2010 6:39:54 PM PDT by oldteen
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To: PROCON

How’s the birthday boy? A good BBQ with friends. Are you baching it now?


93 posted on 07/25/2010 6:45:17 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska (~ RIP Brian...heaven's gain...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)
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To: oldteen

I hadn’t thought of that! LOL!

EGAD! Thanks for the warning!


94 posted on 07/25/2010 6:46:33 PM PDT by LUV W (DIMs?......start packin'--you're fired!....I can see November from my house!)
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To: Kathy in Alaska; tomkow6; All

OH WOW there is report that outgoing BP Chief Tony Hayward may get 20 to 40 million golden parshute in order get him TO QUIT

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/news/tony-hayward-to-walk-away-from-bp-with-20m/story-e6frg90o-1225896847391

Is me or what does that dude remind you of the dude who play Tony Blair in the Helen Mirren the QUEEN MOVIE


95 posted on 07/25/2010 6:49:53 PM PDT by SevenofNine ("We are Freepers, all your media belong to us ,resistance is futile")
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To: MountainDad

Good evening, MountainDad...hope you’ve had a nice weekend.

How is SSG Dusty doing?


96 posted on 07/25/2010 6:50:36 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska (~ RIP Brian...heaven's gain...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)
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To: LUV W

Now?


97 posted on 07/25/2010 6:51:13 PM PDT by LUV W (DIMs?......start packin'--you're fired!....I can see November from my house!)
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To: LUV W

Now?


98 posted on 07/25/2010 6:51:15 PM PDT by LUV W (DIMs?......start packin'--you're fired!....I can see November from my house!)
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To: LUV W

Now?


99 posted on 07/25/2010 6:51:33 PM PDT by LUV W (DIMs?......start packin'--you're fired!....I can see November from my house!)
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To: LUV W

Now?


100 posted on 07/25/2010 6:51:49 PM PDT by LUV W (DIMs?......start packin'--you're fired!....I can see November from my house!)
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